Nothing irks more as a Kenyan bachelor than preparing to start running a steaming shower on a freezing Nairobi afternoon, then you hear someone shout “Stima imepotea!” ( “ Lights are out!”) It’s even worse when this happens twice in a month!
What if I told you that the blackouts occurred nationwide?
You would probably shake your head in disbelief.
This is a true story of recent events in the East African nation.
Power outages occur at an alarming frequency.
Here are some of the stats:
1. Blackouts in Kenya take up to 7hrs, against the global average of 1.36hrs (EPRA, 2021)
2. Kenyan factories and households are in the dark for an average of 25 days annually.
3. Kenyan businesses experience an average of 6.7 outages monthly.
This problem is mostly due to the dilapidated grid network that results in constant breakages, interrupting transmission across the country.
Although the country has already made steps in implementing green energy, for example the Lake Turkana Wind Project (the largest in Africa), there’s more that can be done.
Enter the world of blockchain.
Kenya needs to explore the potential of decentralized, blockchain enabled and communally owned microgrids as a long term solution to its perennial power problems.
Using smart grids and blockchain technology, Kenyan citizens and institutions can harness renewable energy uninterrupted.
Let’s narrow down to solar energy 47% of micro-grids and off-the-grid systems in Sub-Saharan Africa will be powered by photovoltaic energy by 2040 (IEA, 2019) In Kenya, the number of people using solar energy has increased steadily since 2011, and stood at 11.8 million by 2018 (Statista) Annual demand for solar PV panels is at 400 kilowatt peak. So what’s standing in the way of a solar revolution in the country?
The lack of funding and technical expertise required in installing and maintaining communal grids.
A pilot project commenced by the GoK in 2005 identified 3,000 institutions in the rural areas for solar installation. In the past 4 years, only 400 of them have successfully launched their own grid.
This highlights the need for unique fundraising solutions that can help communities build sustainable energy solutions without reliance on the outdated centralized grids.
Safi Protocol , an emerging web3 startup has a solution tailor made for the continent:
A decentralized finance platform that allows renewable energy projects to tokenize their shareholdings and raise funds for implementation.
Besides the difficulty in accessing funding for local renewable energy projects, there exist other barriers, including heavy due diligence costs and difficulties in achieving regulatory approval. Safi Protocol intends to help projects tokenize and issue real world climate assets to investors as NFTs, thereby bypassing the liquidity crunch in energy fundraising..
The platform also has an IOT-based provenance system that gives investors real time access to the functioning capacity of the projects.
The by-product is a new way of accurately tracking and generating carbon credits as digital certificates.
Safi shall therefore create an ecosystem that incentivizes local communities and green investors across the globe to power renewable energy in Africa, starting with Kenya in Q1 2023.
The project intends to leverage on Kenya and Africa’s high crypto and web3 adoption rate, to fuse a DeFi solution to a trillion dollar problem.
Once the Safi Protocol starts scaling and complementing the national grid, cold showers should be a thing of the past!
What should I say? It’s a problem worth solving so Go Safi!
“People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.”- George Bernard Shaw